The owner of any business with more than one employee will understand the importance of teamwork. Teams of employees who can work together effectively and without friction are a crucial asset. This is especially true in the post-COVID landscape in which workers do not always work side by side but still have to collaborate and remain productive. Hiring effective teams should be a goal of any company or organization that wants to succeed. How do you recruit the best team members?
Hiring People Who Work Well Together
The smaller the business is, the more important it is to have effective teams working within it. There simply is no room for drama or personalities that clash in a small business. It’s not enough to hire employees with great skill sets and a good work ethic – they need to get along.
In fact, according to a study by Leadership IQ, only 11% of the new hires who fail do so because they lack the skills to do their jobs. The vast majority – 89% – fail because they cannot get along well with coworkers or management. In most cases, the problem is with behavior or attitude. They cannot work with the team in place.
For this reason, it’s crucial to hire based on attitude. This goes against common hiring advice. In most cases, employers will recruit based on skills. Skills are easy to assess: Does the candidate have the training and the experience necessary to do the job? Attitude is harder to pin down in a traditional interview, but it’s just as important as skill. You can’t train people to have a better attitude and to be a team player.
Hiring Effective Teams
A good team is more than the sum of its parts. You need to find people who can work together effectively, productively, and even happily. If they are content in their positions and with their coworkers, they will be more productive because they will enjoy their work more. You will also have higher worker retention. If you hire someone who looks great on paper but is difficult or abrasive with others, your business will suffer, and good employees will leave.
Here are some tips on how to find the great team members:
- Observe how your team currently operates and how the members interact with each other. When you have to replace a team member, focus your attention on how to replace their skills and their role within the team. If your team is a group of low-key introverts, hiring an aggressive social butterfly will not help.
- Look for personality traits and values as well as work experience. It’s a good idea to keep your company’s mission and culture at the forefront of your mind when evaluating if the candidates you’re interviewing have the kinds of qualities that will advance both.
- Do not ignore personal values and beliefs. In the increasingly polarized society we live in, people are becoming less tolerant of differences. While you cannot discriminate against candidates that do not share your religious beliefs or politics, large differences of opinion can cause friction among team members.
- Ask candidates how they feel about teamwork. They need to be able to understand other workers’ emotions and personalities, accept feedback from managers, coworkers, and customers, and place the needs of the team before their own needs when necessary.
- Introduce candidates to your team during the interview process and observe how they interact.
- Check candidates’ references carefully for work experience, character, and performance. This is important, even if it’s not an exciting part of the process. Their past experience with others and in similar positions will tell you more about their ability to be a good team member than anything they will say in an interview.
Finally, it’s not enough to put together your workplace team. You need to work on team building continuously. Good management and additional training are important, but, ultimately, it’s about respecting the people you hire and working with them to meet their needs as well as advance the mission of the company. Hiring effective teams is about more than finding “the right person for the job.” If you view prospective employees like they are potential players for your team, you will be able to evaluate and hire more effectively.
At Prometis Partners, we are here to help business owners with a variety of business needs. If you would like to talk about hiring or managing your employees better, contact us. It’s our job to help you solve challenges and increase the productivity and profitability of your business.